The Crazies (1973)

It seems a lot of people enjoyed the remake of The Crazies. I didn’t, mostly because I got sick of the heroes being saved by a miracle every 6 minutes. Anyway, the original George Romero version is definitely not going to change my mind about this particular series of films. I had to watch this version over the course of two nights because I fell asleep during my first attempt.

Initial reaction: Why weren’t there more crazies and less jibber jabber from the military folks? Guys talking about doing stuff in hazmat suits just don’t cut it for me.

The plot is simple; a manmade virus, “Trixie”, is loosed on a small town that causes its residents to act crazy. The military brass sweep in and quarantine the town to prevent further craziness. Murder. Mayhem. Military. It’s got a little bit of everything, except the ability to hold my interest.

The film is told in a rapid fire pace that reminded me of those ‘70s airplane disaster movies, or the command center set pieces from Airplane!. This may work for airline disaster movies or spoofs, but it felt out of place in a horror film. The film jumps all around in an attempt to spread the paranoia, for me, it worked wonders as a sleep aid. The back and forth between the civilians and the military is an interesting concept, in this case, however, the military side was mind-numbingly boring.

The only scene I truly liked was the infamous knitting lady. She cracks me up! One minute she is knitting calmly in a rocking chair, the next she is stabbing a soldier to death. It’s an effective mood and provides a nice jolt to the film. If only there were more scenes like it. Budgetary constraints ($275,000) may have played a big part in the cheapness of the film, but c’mon, it’s Romero – back when he was still good.

For every good scene there is a stupid scene. Like the girl who sweeps up behind the soldiers who are fighting in the middle of a field. Lame.

I just didn’t like this film. The characters were uninteresting and the pacing was off. And there wasn’t enough excitement or gore to keep it interesting; almost like the film couldn’t make up its mind to be either a gorefest or a run of the mill thriller.

Snore Factor: ZZZZ

IMDB 1973


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